I have been honored and humbled to hear from many as they read Untethered - many wanting to know more about what happened after I finished writing. What did I learn from all of this? What’s next? Well, I’ve decided to return to the laptop and continue the story. I considered if it should be ChapterTwenty-two, or if it was really Chapter One of something new. I hope you all agree with my choice. Here’s a little story to get things started…
Of all the pets in my life, my dogs are always top of mind. Bristol was an eighty-pound loving love of a Golden Retriever that came into my life when I was thirteen. Sophie, in contrast was the sweetest seven-pound toy poodle that found me in my mid-thirties. Both seemed to appear when I needed to love something that only knew how to love me back. They engulfed me with unconditional love, protected me from harm, and always made me smile and laugh, no matter the circumstances.
Sadly, Sophie passed last September, shortly after I finished the first draft manuscript of Untethered. She hadn’t been well, the Cleveland winter had been hard on her, and I knew her time was coming. I trusted she would tell me when. It was bittersweet. I was grief-stricken and felt a sense of great loss without her, yet I knew she was no longer suffering. She was free.
Right before her passing, I had come to a decision to change my first name in part to celebrate a newly found freedom and release. I chose my name, Kate Elizebeth, and had it all sorted in my mind. I just wasn’t sure when I would actually “pull the trigger”. I trusted life would tell me when it was time.
About a month after Sophie was gone, I went for a run to a nearby park. My grief was slowly subsiding, and as I ran along, I finalized another choice - this one regarding my book. After much internal debate and external discussion, I decided to drop about twenty-five thousand words, Part Five, from this first release. While I liked it, there was something that wasn’t quite right about it. I yielded to the inner voice that told me to shelve it and let it percolate. Life would tell me when it was time.
As I ran into the park, I noticed a big “fluff” of a golden doodle dog that had gotten away from its owner. I waved that it was okay as the dog made a beeline toward me. She jumped up and gave me a big kiss and hug. I asked the owner the dog’s name and she said “Anna”. I looked into Anna’s eyes and saw my Bristol and Sophie looking back at me. I smiled at her, laughed and said, “Hi Anna, I’m Kate.”
There it was. Anna was the first “person” I introduced to myself as Kate. While it had been percolating for some time, it was that moment I became Kate. I ran home, showered, and went straight to the courthouse and filed the paperwork. The clerk issued my court date, which coincidentally (or not) was Sophie’s birthday. A final stamp of approval.
As I prepared for the Untethered launch party a few weeks ago, I re-read Part Five, considered all that had transpired since that draft, and realized it was time. Not as a continuation, rather, a beginning from my other beginning’s end. I will use it as a base for Becoming Kate, a collection of lessons and learnings, along with stories that informed me to become all the things I am and all that I am yet to be. It’s a new book about a new story and a new life. I am intending to include guiding thoughts or questions and “self-directed exercises” to help readers explore their own path of life. It also may include stories about other people who have made significant life choices and experienced transformative change.
I am working on Chapter One now, and hope to have it finished in the next couple of months. I have no target publication date. I trust it will find its way. It’s summertime in Cleveland and I am balancing work and writing with time running long stretches, laughing with friends old and new, reading other great author’s books in my hammock, and catching more than a few ballgames.